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Five Black Teens Went Missing in 1978 and Where Never Seen Again — Here’s What Happened!

Clinton Avenue Five

In 1978, on a summer day, five teenagers from Newark, New Jersey suddenly vanished. Their names were Randy Johnson, Michael McDowell, Melvin Pittman, Ernest Taylor and Alvin Turner. That day, they had played basketball and had gone home to change their clothes before meeting up again. But that was the last day the boys were ever seen again!
For many years, the police were clueless as to what happened. There was never any evidence or remains recovered, and the case remained a cold case for decades. The missing boys were named "The Clinton Avenue Five".

However, 30 years later in 2008, while in police custody on an unrelated charge, a man named Philander Hampton confessed that he and his cousin, Lee Anthony Evans, lured the teens to his residence by promising them jobs.

The boys, while at his home, supposedly stole some marijuana, and Evans and Hampton decided to kill them. They were locked into a bedroom closet at gunpoint, and then Evans reportedly set the house on fire with the boys inside.

After investigators confirmed the story, both Evans and Hampton were arrested and charged with felony murder and arson.

But justice was never fully served

Hampton later plead guilty to the murders during his August 2011 trial, and was sentenced to ten years in prison and was ordered to pay $15,000 in relocation expenses upon his release. He was released early from prison in February 2017.

Evans represented himself at his November 2011 trial and was acquitted. He later filed a lawsuit against the county's Prosecutor's Office and the city's police department claiming that he was a victim of malicious prosecution.

Obviously, no real justice was ever served, and until today, the remains of the missing boys have never been found.